YA Coffee Shop is located in an alley in the old residential area. The YA Coffee shop is just a little further east from Yunjin Road, the subway station, through the Channannong Market. It was like being removed from the busy streets and returning to a quiet neighborhood. The streets and alleys in the area have a sense of neighborhood and market： a group of three or two residential buildings are surrounded by one another, scattered on both sides of the main street, while side alleys are like capillaries to organize the connections between the groups. The storefront fully caters to the daily needs of the old neighbors. There’s a lot of people coming and going.
The owner of the cafe was a psychology master who had just returned from the United States and had the idea to open a street coffee shop in an old alley. The original intention was to open a casual shop like a breakfast shop, very common but indispensable, as he had felt when he was abroad. The scene narrated by the owner is similar to our experience of living in Milan, and also corresponds to the concept of our intervention in the streets.
Because the coffee shop is small, it is designed to operate on as small a scale as possible to guide users to a comfortable distance. On the plan, we divided the space into four parts： the island and ordering area are located in the center, and the operation area and sitting area are distributed on the two sides.
The space is high longitudinally, so the interior is divided with different materials： white cave stone is used from the ground to the island, and the lower edges are closed as neatly and thickly as possible. The section from the cave stone to the ceiling is covered with frosted acrylic sheets, each of which is fixed by metal pendants and protrudes forward layer by layer with an equal difference of 2.5cm. They grow upward like street trees at the doorway of space.
The design of YA Coffee Shop started in the summer, when the street is green with trees. We had the idea that people sitting in the store could look up and see a whole tree. So the facade of the coffee shop is slightly receded to allow for more viewing distance, while also creating an outdoor area covered by an awning above the plan for seating and window services.
Facade uses glass entirely, door and fixed window use ultra white glass, bright window on the door uses changhong glass. A frame made of H-shaped steel connects the fixed glass and extends a small cantilever to support the rectangular light box.
When we explored the site, we learned more than the drawings. The two old neighbors still live in the courtyard behind the coffee shop, and often enjoy the cool under the two loquat trees in the courtyard in summer. Following this unexpected clue, we deepened the acrylic form of the coffee shop wall.
The arrangement of acrylic panels facing the wall at the entrance has been changed： the center is no longer covered by acrylic panels, but the white wall is exposed. In addition, a round window was opened at the height of the wall where one could see the loquat trees, bringing the green idea into the room. Round Windows and the membrane of the round lamp on the ceiling echo. At the same time, the entrance of the cave allows the street level to be connected with the courtyard in the view.
As dusk closes in, the lights draw in the crowd, and the scene of people sitting around the walls is like a small theater. Shop owners making coffee, talking to customers, all become a life drama in the streets. We hope that all pedestrians passing by Ya Coffee Shop can briefly forget the troubles of life from this window connected to nature, and close the distance between neighbors alienated by the epidemic.